Holiday visitors to San Diego might take a liking to our fair city, and wonder about our real estate market. They may want to see a few homes for sale to sample the local fare.
A few thoughts for the unfamiliar:
1. The local inventory has been picked clean.
Market conditions here have been excellent, and buyers have snatched up anything that resembled a decent buy. All that is left are the OPTs (over-priced turkeys). Any home for sale that has been on the market more than 30 days is probably 10% too high in price, or more.
2. It probably won’t get much better.
We are due for a surge of inventory, but the prices on new listings will be influenced by the lagging OPTs. Experienced home shoppers have given up on getting a deal, and instead are looking for the premium properties – only.
3. New listings are likely to be rehashed.
We suffer from lax enforcement of the MLS rules here, and as a result, agents will ‘refresh’ (cancel and re-input) their listings – usually without changing the price. Frustrated buyers and their agents think it is a hot new listing, and pay all the money; when in reality it’s been sitting on the market for weeks or months. A few of these go pending each week – it works. Buyer beware.
4. Not many off-market deals.
Every time I check, the off-market deals only amount to 10% to 15% of all sales, which means you need to work with a good agent to snag one of the 85%. Normal home-sellers demand the open-market exposure in order to achieve top dollar, so the off-market sales are typically the estate sales being sold by out-of-town heirs who want fast money.
School quality is a big driver of real estate demand. The following are different areas of the North San Diego County’s Coastal region, with the scores of the elementary schools from www.greatschools.org, which isn’t a perfect measure but it’s all we got:
Carmel Valley, 92130
The hot bed of local real estate action, due to the excellent schools and proximity to local employment centers. All nine elementary schools are scored a 10; Sage Canyon, Ocean Air, Torrey Hills, Carmel Creek, Carmel Del Mar, Ashley Falls, Sycamore Ridge, Solana Pacific, and Solana Highlands (Solana Ranch not scored yet). Decent houses start at $1,000,000.
All three public elementary schools in La Jolla are ranked a 10; Torrey Pines, Bird Rock, and La Jolla Elementary. If you can find a decent house under $2,000,000, grab it.
Del Mar Heights Elementary scores a 10, and Del Mar Hills is a nine. Expect to spend $1,500,000 for a decent house in the 92014.
All schools score a 9 in Solana Beach proper, where you can buy a decent home in the low-$1,000,000s.
Rancho Santa Fe/Fairbanks Ranch
Those living in the RSF Covenant area can enjoy K-8 at the R. Roger Rowe School, and those around Fairbanks go to Solana Santa Fe – both schools score a 10. Expect to spend at least $2,000,000 for something decent.
Three elementary schools rank a 10; Cardiff, Flora Vista, and Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary. You can find decent houses in the $800,000s – only 48% of the homes sold this year closed over $1,000,000.
Carlsbad is the most populous town in the coastal region, and the furthest north, which plays a role for those who need to fight traffic daily going south. There are five schools that score a 10, and all are in South Carlsbad; Pacific Rim, Aviara Oaks, Mission Estancia, El Camino Creek, and La Costa Heights. You can still find a decent buy in the $700,000s, and 80% of houses sold this year closed under $1,000,000. Carlsbad is split into three different school districts, which means getting to high school might be a trek.
All the high schools from La Jolla to Carlsbad rank 8s and 9s.
Yes, you can find houses for sale for less than mentioned here, but you really need a good agent – and I can help! firstname.lastname@example.org